CSBallot is the listener data entry form for the CS Contest Management system. Ideal for trade shows, concerts, remotes etc. providing listeners with the ability to enter their own information electronically rather than a paper ballot. Since all data is saved locally, CSBallot does not require any telephone, Internet or other communications links. Once captured, the information can be used at the event to select winners and when returned to the station, uploaded into your CS Contest Management database for use in future promotional campaigns.
Use the CS Contest Maintenance module as you would at the station to select winners and when you return to the station, use the CS Contest Maintenance Import/Export feature to update your CS Contest database.
- CSBallot “locks” the window preventing listeners from accessing other applications on the laptop. (Password protected)
- Create special “ballot” graphics for use in CSBallot by adding “ballot” to the logo file name. I.e. In this example the station logo is HAWK.BMP and the special ballot graphic is HAWKBALLOT.BMP.
- Add up to two survey questions that may be queried using the CSContest Reports.
- Unlike paper ballots, the information is easily added to your listener database and not lost after the event.
- Does not require any external communications at the site.
- Listeners get a more pro-active experience rather than just another ballot form.
- CSBallot is included with your existing CS Contest Management package.
To install CSBallot on your stations laptop:
- Place your CSContest Management CD in the cd drive.
- Select Start, Run and type d:\remote\setup.exe where "d" is the drive letter for your CD.
- Follow the instructions to complete the setup.
- Start the CSContest Maintenance module. When started, you will receive the Remote Version message and be limited to two active contests at any one time. Click OK
- Like the full version, we will need to configure CSContest with our station ID's, logo files and defaults.
• Select Properties from the Tools menu and enter the configuration information as you would in your live version of CSContest. Note: When adding your station(s) to the list, be sure to include a password. This will lock CSBallot and prevent users from accessing anything other than CSBallot.
- Once the configuration information is entered, we will need to create a contest for the remote event.
• Enter the name of the contest, enter the run dates, rules and regulations, and select the station from the list. To identify the contest to CSBallot, we MUST enter a promo code of BALLOT.
• Once the information is entered, Click the Save icon to update the contest. Please note: The remote version only allows two contests at any one time so you may need to delete previous contest information before adding a new entry. Please be sure to upload the listener information before deleting the contest. (see import/export section below)
- If desired, we may add up to two yes or no survey questions to the ballot entry or restrict entries to 1 per customer.
• To add survey questions or restrict entries, select Ballot Options from the View Menu. When the Options window appears, enter your survey questions and if desired, select the restriction option. Click OK.
Once the configuration information has been set and a ballot contest has been created, we may now exit the CS Contest Maintenance module and start CSBallot. Please Note: CSBallot is designed to prevent users from unauthorized access to the computer so you will need to enter the password you defined for the station. In order to change stations, alter the appearance or exit the program.
CSBallot will display a banner across the top of the window. If desired, you may create a special banner with sponsor logos, contest info or other graphics as desired. Depending on the screen size and resolution, you may need to adjust the size of this graphic. CSBallot supports most of the common graphic file types including, BMP, JPEG, GIF, etc.
- Create special “ballot” graphics for use in CSBallot by adding “ballot” to the logo file name. I.e. In this example, the station logo is HAWK.BMP and the special ballot graphic is HAWKBALLOT.BMP.
- Save this file in the same directory where CSContest is installed and CSBallot will automatically display the graphic. If a "xxxxballot" file does not exist, CSBallot will display the stations logo file.
Depending on your graphic and station colors, you may wish to change the fonts and colors CSBallot uses to display the information.
In CSBallot, select Appearance from the File Menu. Note: You will need to enter the password to access this item.
This will minimize the CSBallot window and display the color options window. Select the colors, font, size and bold options as desired. Click Update.
The CSBallot window will appear with the new settings.
Listener Data Entry
Now that we have configured our laptop for CSBallot, we are ready to allow our listeners to fill out our electronic ballot. At the remote event, start the computer and open the CSBallot module and we are ready to go.
- Laptops sometimes grow legs and walk away, so you will want to use a good laptop lock tied to a solid non-movable source.
- Depending on the environment, you may wish to add a keyboard protector to the laptop. This will help to protect against spillage, sticky fingers, etc.
- Laptop mouse controls can be a little awkward for someone not familiar with laptops, so an inexpensive mouse and pad may be helpful. Again, these can disappear, so a tie to the lock cable may be a good idea.
If desired, you may select winners at the event using the CSContest winner selection process. When ready, exit CSBallot (requires password) and start the CS Contest Maintenance module.
- Select Reports from the View menu or click the Report Icon.
- When the Reports window is displayed, select the contest from the drop down window. If selecting a daily winner, enter the dates.
- In the "select ___ winners" area, enter the number of winners to select.
- Click Create report and the winners will be displayed.
- If required, use the save to file, or copy to clipboard to save the winner list.
When we return from the event we may wish to add the information collected at the remote to our listener database. This is done by exporting the data from the laptop and importing in the live system.
Export from Laptop
To export the data from the laptop:
- Start the CS Contest Maintenance module on the laptop.
- Select the contest from the dropdown list.
- Select Extract Winner Data from the tools menu or Click the Export Winner Icon.
- Use the browser window to select the directory to save the file. If connected to your network, this could be a network location if not, it may be a floppy drive.
- Click Open.
- Exit the CSContest Maintenance Module.
Import into CSContest DataBase
To import this data:
- If necessary, place the floppy in your desktop drive.
- Start the CS Contest Maintenance.
- Create a new contest for these entries or select a "Contest" in which to add the entries.
- Select Import Winner Data from the tools menu.
- Use the browser window to select the file we exported from the laptop.
- Click Open.
- When the information has been imported, you may delete the contest from the laptop in preparation for the next remote contest.